Skeleton watches are mechanical or quartz timepieces in which all the details of the mechanism are visible through the clear glass of the dial or back cover. However, not every fan of exquisite wristwatches knows that skeletons appeared at the dawn of watchmaking, not to surprise or shock the audience. Their creation was a forced phenomenon, since the mechanism of the wristwatch, which was becoming more complicated every year, simply did not fit into the case; it turned out to be a difficult task for watchmakers to hide it inside. Only in the second half of the XVIII century, the most experienced masters of Haute Horlogerie still managed to cover the mechanism from all sides with the help of the case.

Today we will review two stylish new models from Roger Dubuis and Richard Mille – a couple of well-known manufacturers of high-end skeleton watches.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Pirelli ICE ZERO™ 2

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Pirelli ICE ZERO™ 2

Photo courtesy of Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis has a reputation as a serial innovator. Its fearless spirit, unfettered creativity and desire to live without limits help her to produce extraordinary samples of skeletonized timekeeping devices.

The one-of-a-kind timepiece created by Roger Dubuis in partnership with high-performance tire manufacturer PIRELLI includes a 52-hour power reserve caliber fitted with a dual flying tourbillon with differential. Astounding novelty is put into a 47-mm diamond-plated titanium case. The strap reproduces the newest PIRELLI tire tread pattern for ice tracks with steel spikes.  

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Pirelli ICE ZERO™ 2

Photo courtesy of Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis CEO Nicola Andreatta will personally deliver this unique high-end watch to the buyer and invite them to make an exclusive run in a Lamborghini on the ice tracks in the Italian Alps. MR. PORTER and Roger Dubuis already had the experience of such cooperation in October last year, when the unique Excalibur Aventador S model was presented, and its potential owner was offered to have the experience of visiting the brand’s factory and the motor race in the Jurassic mountains.

Richard Mille RM 52-06 Tourbillon Mask

Seven years ago, Richard Mille first drew inspiration from a symbol that has fascinated artists, writers, poets, and philosophers for centuries. In the RM 052 Tourbillon Skull model presented in 2012, the open mechanism of the high-end watch partially covered the skull-shaped element that served as the upper bridge. The skull “hanging” in the center of the case was connected with it by four bridges, reminiscent of the bones that made the whole picture is similar to the pirate flag. In the RM 52-06 Tourbillon Mask wristwatch, which will be released only for the USA market, Richard Mille continues to explore the skull theme.

Richard Mille RM 52-06 Tourbillon Mask

Photo courtesy of Richard Mille

The “skeleton mask,” depending on the version, is made of white gold or titanium grade 5, which due to the PVD-coating, acquired a black color. The element is integrated into a manual winding mechanism, which simultaneously performs the function of a wheel drive and a tourbillon bridge. The location of the tourbillon carriage can be guessed by the ruby, which is visible in the area of the skull’s mouth. The skull is connected to the case by eight rays that give the mask an even more impressive appearance. The dimensions of the case are as follows: 49.94 x 42 x 16.15 mm.

The case, of course, is made of branded Richard Mille materials using Thin North Ply technology. It is known that in total, the company will produce four versions of this stunning high-end watch, each of which will be limited to a series of 18 copies. The starting price of the novelty is estimated at $698,000.

Richard Mille RM 52-06 Tourbillon Mask

Photo courtesy of Richard Mille

Make sure to check out our collection of used high-end watches – there, you will find a plethora of gorgeous skeletonized timepieces from the best brands!